A CAFE with a cause is being planned for Bognor Regis.
My Sisters’ House intends to open the unique eating venue if its new fundraising campaign succeeds.
The community interest company needs to raise £50,000 to be able to move into the existing restaurant in Aldwick Road.
As well as setting up the cafe, open to everyone, the money will enable the four-bedroom maisonette upstairs to become a women’s centre.
Julie Budge, the founder of My Sisters’ House, said: “We’ve got £28,000 so far from the county council and an individual but we would like to move in during the spring.
“The property is on the market and we need to be able to show we have the money to pay for the three months’ deposit and three months’ advance rent as soon as possible.”
The campaign is being launched publically with the organisation’s first event of its kind - a comedy night at the restaurant, called That Place in Bognor, from 7pm-11pm on February 26.
Those appearing will include Adam Brookfield-Strawn, a finalist in the South Coast comedian of the year and the Joker’s Joker contests, Georgia Apsion and Kerry Cassidy.
A week later will see a three-course dinner held at the restaurant with tickets at £30 each. They can be bought at www.mysistershouse.co.uk
In addition, funds are being sought on the Crowdfunder.com website.
My Sisters’ House was formed in June 2014 and moved into premises on London Road a year later.
Julie said its presence had proved the need for a women’s centre for the Arun and Chichester districts to fill a gap of at least 50 miles.
My Sisters’ House wants to help women to build on their strengths, capabilities and confidence. This will be achieved by offering training, mentoring and coaching courses, training and an upcycled clothing and product label enterprise.
So far, 62 women have visited the drop-in centre. Among them are 20 from its caseload. “Two-thirds of them are suffering from domestic abuse and we are helping them with support and inter-agency links,” said Julie.
The centre’s work has quickly been recognised by the county council’s family support network. Jeff Fullard, its operational manager, has told Julie: “We really value what you are doing.”
But, despite this, she said, a need for more services was obvious. “We know a lot of women in the community who are falling between the gaps in services, being hit by funding cuts.”
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